federal reserve – Hudson Berkshire Experience http://hudsonberkshireexperience.com/ Tue, 29 Mar 2022 10:20:17 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.9.3 https://hudsonberkshireexperience.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/cropped-icon-32x32.png federal reserve – Hudson Berkshire Experience http://hudsonberkshireexperience.com/ 32 32 Stocks falter lower, crude climbs after US bans Russian oil | app https://hudsonberkshireexperience.com/stocks-falter-lower-crude-climbs-after-us-bans-russian-oil-app/ Tue, 08 Mar 2022 21:25:06 +0000 https://hudsonberkshireexperience.com/stocks-falter-lower-crude-climbs-after-us-bans-russian-oil-app/

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks closed lower on Tuesday after another wobbly day of trading on Wall Street as oil prices soared after the United States banned imports from Russia.

The economic fallout from his invasion of Ukraine also rattled the nickel market, driving up its price so much that trading in the metal was shut down.

The S&P 500 fell 0.7% after hovering between a 1% loss and a 1.8% gain. Such swings have become common as investors struggle to guess how high oil prices will go and how much they will weigh on the economy. The benchmark lost 30.39 points to 4,170.70. It has fallen four days in a row and now stands 13.1% below its record set at the start of this year.

Oil surged on fears that global supply could be disrupted as Russia is one of the world’s largest energy producers. Following President Joe Biden’s announcement of the Russian oil ban, the price per barrel of US crude rose 3.6% to $123.70. Brent, the international standard, rose 3.9% to $127.98.

But oil prices did not climb as high as they had the day before, when concerns erupted over a possible ban and the price of U.S. oil hit $130.50. As oil pared its gains after Biden’s announcement, stocks also pared their losses.

The surprising reactions may have been the result of the big moves markets had already made a day earlier in anticipation of the announcement, said Nate Thooft, chief investment officer of multi-asset solutions at Manulife Investment Management.

“You’ve seen the sanctions escalate, but in the eyes of the market, that’s old news,” he said. “Now that it’s happened, and a lot of selling has already taken place, the market is asking, ‘sell?’ and you have people buying in the market.”

He expects the dizzying hour-to-hour swings to continue. Uncertainty is still high and many investors are still keen to trade quickly. “For me, for the traditional investor,” he said, “it’s one of those situations where you buy into weakness and turn a blind eye.”

The Nasdaq composite fell 35.41 points, or 0.3%, to 12,795.55. On Monday, it closed 20% below its record high. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 184.74 points, or 0.6%, to 32,632.64. It went from a loss of 238 points to a gain of 585 earlier.

Small company stocks held up better than the broader market. The Russell 2000 rose 11.68 points, or 0.6%, to 1,963.01.

Already high oil prices have pushed the average price of a gallon of gasoline in the country to a record high. Biden said he hoped to limit Americans’ pain, but he acknowledged the ban would raise gas prices.

“Defending freedom is also going to cost us dearly,” he said.

Biden also said he understands many European allies may not be able to take similar steps because they are much more dependent on Russian energy supplies. European nations have said they plan to reduce their dependence on Russia for their energy needs, but filling the void without crippling their economies will likely take some time.

“The markets just need time to digest things and they were presumably shocked when (the invasion) happened,” said Kristina Hooper, chief global market strategist at Invesco. “It’s no surprise that the EU disagrees with the US on this, and that’s certainly positive for oil, but we also have to recognize that this is changing quite rapidly.”

The US ban on Russian oil imports is the latest move by governments and companies around the world to squeeze Russia’s finances in the wake of its attack on Ukraine. All of the penalties raise questions about how prices will go not just for oil but also for natural gas, wheat and other commodities where the region is a major producer. This in turn adds more pressure to the already high inflation that is sweeping the world, tightening its grip on the global economy.

It also makes an already difficult path for the Federal Reserve and other central banks around the world even more treacherous. They hoped to raise interest rates enough to bring down high inflation, but not enough to cause a recession.

“That geopolitical risk has essentially reduced some of the Fed’s political risk and they’re much less likely to make a policy mistake this year,” Hooper said. “The Fed recognizes this risk to US policy and will act more cautiously.”

All the uncertainty has led to a particularly wild commodity trade, where supply challenges collide with strengthening demand as the global economy recovers from its coronavirus-caused shutdown.

Nickel trading was suspended on the London Metal Exchange on Tuesday after prices doubled to an all-time high of $100,000 per metric ton.

Nickel is primarily used to produce stainless steel and some alloys, but is increasingly being used in batteries, particularly electric vehicle batteries.

Russia is the world’s third largest nickel producer. And Russian mining company Nornickel is a major supplier of high-grade nickel used in electric vehicles.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury note, which is used to fix interest rates on mortgages and many other types of loans, rose to 1.84% from 1.75% on Monday evening.

AP Business Writers Damian J. Troise, Yuri Kageyama, and Alex Veiga contributed.

Allen Harris: How do higher interest rates affect businesses? | Business https://hudsonberkshireexperience.com/allen-harris-how-do-higher-interest-rates-affect-businesses-business/ Sat, 26 Feb 2022 12:00:00 +0000 https://hudsonberkshireexperience.com/allen-harris-how-do-higher-interest-rates-affect-businesses-business/

The good news is that your input costs may be low enough to offset some of your increased labor costs.

The bad news is that your sales could drop due to higher interest rates.

The Federal Reserve is expected to raise the federal funds rate from 0-0.25% to 1% by July 2022. That doesn’t sound like a big increase, and it isn’t. But, it’s fast.

The terminal rate is expected to be 2.5% in 2023. Even this rate is relatively low. However, the super cheap cost of money undermined the business environment as it allowed weak and failing businesses to operate.

A higher federal funds rate impacts other rates, such as mortgages, Wall Street Journal Prime, and lines of credit. Many lines of credit are re-evaluated monthly, so higher interest charges immediately impact the bottom line.

Some businesses operate from owner-occupied buildings, and those term loan payments could also adjust upwards. Higher interest rates affect your business’ cost of capital, reducing cash flow. You are mistaken if you think that higher interest rates will not affect you because you have no more debt. What impacts your customers, and the rest of the world, impacts you.

After the Japanese asset bubble collapsed in 1991, the government allowed banks to prop up so-called zombie companies by giving them enough cheap money to repay their loans. Two decades of easy money have created zombie companies here in the United States

There is no exact definition of “zombie companies”. Yet the Federal Reserve’s July 2021 report “US Zombie Firms: How Many and How Consequential?” notes that “it is generally accepted that these companies are not economically viable and manage to survive by appealing to banks and capital markets”.

Between 2015 and 2019, the Fed found that about 10% of public companies and 5% of private companies were zombies. Based on the peaks during the US recessions of 2001 and 2008, I would venture to assume that the numbers are double those reported for 2019 (and are even more dependent on easy money policies today).

The economic cycle has become linked to monetary policy. Marginal business practices were effective because the low cost of capital allowed for inefficiencies.

Despite these risks, the Fed intends to fight inflation by raising rates. According to the NFIB Research Foundation, the biggest problem facing small business owners is no longer labor shortages, it’s inflation. Inflation recently hit 7.5% over the past year, the highest consumer price index (CPI) measure since February 1982.

Since 1977, the Federal Reserve has fulfilled a dual mandate defined by Congress, to “effectively promote the goals of maximum employment, stable prices, and moderate long-term interest rates.” The Fed’s target inflation rate is 2% (using a measure known as Personal Consumption Expenditure). His next dragon to slay is the High Price.

Supply chain issues partly explain the high inflation. The Fed cannot fix the supply chain issues that contributed to inflation. However, the Fed can slow down the economy. Interest rate hikes are a lever to induce your customers to buy less of what you sell. Falling demand for goods and services lowers prices.

When interest rates rise, consumers tend to save more and spend less. Higher interest rates mean higher debt servicing costs. This prevents households from spending on credit cards and taking out loans, which means your sales and profits could plummet.

The corporate sectors that will be hit first will be the most sensitive to interest rates. Mortgages will become more expensive. Auto loan repayments will be higher. Then it could spill over to the rest of the economy.

Higher debt service decreases profits and deters companies from starting new projects or expanding because they cannot afford credit as easily. This company may not be you, but the company or its employees could be your customers. It affects us. And once that starts, banks might become more reluctant to give you a business loan when you need it most.

You can take steps now to prepare for how higher interest rates could affect your business. You need to take action to control rising costs and defend your revenue.

If your lender allows you, change your adjustable rate loans to a fixed rate. This will lock in your low rate for the duration of your loan. If the lender does not allow refinancing, you can pay off your debt to avoid spending more at a higher interest rate. (However, you will need to account for the ratio of interest payments to principal in your amortization schedule.)

If you have excess cash, you can open a high-yield savings account to generate more interest income.

You can get an approved line of credit now. If your bank does not extend the credit, you could borrow from your investment portfolio. For example, Charles Schwab & Co. allows investors to take out a “pledged asset line” to “use for real estate investment, business start-up, or other expenses.” Suppose the economy slows down or your borrowing costs increase. In this case, it will be more difficult to obtain financing. Better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it.

Finally, change the consumption habits of your customers. Pull some of your sales forward and make others recurring. This statement can (and has) been extended to entire books.

I understand it’s borderline flippant to suggest that it comes as easily as waving a magic wand. I also know that the reaction of business owners in all industries is, “We can’t do this; you don’t understand my industry. Well, I know business. And I know that owners of small boxes often find themselves. This box limits opportunities to cut costs or defend revenue. Let’s get out of this box.

3 Ultra High Yielding Dividend Stocks Billionaires Can’t Stop Buying https://hudsonberkshireexperience.com/3-ultra-high-yielding-dividend-stocks-billionaires-cant-stop-buying/ Mon, 21 Feb 2022 10:51:00 +0000 https://hudsonberkshireexperience.com/3-ultra-high-yielding-dividend-stocks-billionaires-cant-stop-buying/

The new year has not lacked major current events. Federal Reserve meetings, inflation data, coronavirus vaccine trial results and updates on the Russian-Ukrainian conflict are just a few of the events rocking the stock market.

But what you may have missed last week was one of the most important data releases of the quarter. February 15 marked the deadline for fund managers with more than $100 million in assets under management to file Form 13F with the Securities and Exchange Commission. A 13F provides an under-the-hood look at the stocks some of Wall Street’s brightest minds were buying and selling over the past quarter.

After scouring the portfolios of some of Wall Street’s brightest billionaires, one trend stood out: their attraction to dividend-paying stocks. Specifically, billionaire fund managers couldn’t stop buying the following three ultra-high-income stocks.

Image source: Getty Images.

AT&T: 8.75% return

Billionaire’s first ultra-high-yield equity fund manager couldn’t stop buying in the fourth quarter is the telecommunications giant AT&T (NYSE:T).

Before we get into the AT&T discussion, I want to mention that a business reorganization (which I’ll talk about in a moment) will cut the company’s dividend by more than half by mid-year. While it remains a high-yield company with a yield above 4%, its tenure as an ultra-high-yield income stock is wearing thin.

Among billionaire investors, Jim Simons of Renaissance Technologies and Jeff Yass of Susquehanna International kept charging AT&T in the fourth quarter. Renaissance added nearly 18.2 million shares and made AT&T its 26th largest holding. During that time, Susquehanna bought over 11.1 million shares.

While the peak of growth for AT&T is long gone, the company offers two very clear upside catalysts over the next two years. For starters, there’s the ongoing rollout of 5G wireless infrastructure. It’s been a decade since wireless download speeds improved dramatically, which should lead to a persistent cycle of device replacement for consumers and businesses. Since data consumption generates the juiciest margins in AT&T’s wireless segment, 5G is its golden ticket to steady organic growth.

The other major catalyst, and the “business reorganization” I alluded to earlier, is the upcoming spin-off of the WarnerMedia content arm, and its merger with Discovery. This new media entity will have approximately 94 million pro forma streaming subscribers and should be able to reduce its annual operating expenses by more than $3 billion. The spin-off from WarnerMedia — AT&T investors will have a stake in this new media entity — will also allow AT&T to lower its payouts and work on debt reduction.

At just 8 times 2022 forecast earnings, AT&T is about as cheap as it’s ever been.

Two businessmen shake hands, one holding a miniature house in his left hand.

Image source: Getty Images.

AGNC Investment Corp. : yield of 10.66%

Another ultra-high yielding stock that caught the attention of billionaire fund managers in the fourth quarter is the mortgage real estate investment trust (REIT). AGNC Investment Corp. (NASDAQ:AGNC). AGNC has averaged double digit returns in 12 of the past 13 years.

During the fourth quarter, Ken Griffin of Citadel Advisors and the aforementioned Jeff Yass bought AGNC. Griffin more than tripled Citadel’s stake in the company by buying over 396,000 shares, while Susquehanna increased its position from just over 112,000 shares to over 294,000.

While AGNC’s securities investment purchases can be complex, Mortgage REIT’s operating model is simple. Companies like AGNC seek to borrow at low short-term rates and use that capital to buy assets with higher long-term yields, such as mortgage-backed securities (MBS). The average return on MBS and other assets held minus the average borrowing rate equals the firm’s net interest margin (NIM). The higher the NIM, the more profitable the AGNC can become.

The biggest concern for mortgage REITs right now is the flattening of the yield curve between 2-year and 10-year US Treasuries. As the yields between these notes decline, companies like AGNC typically see their book value drop and their NIM tighten.

However – and this is a fat however – higher lending rates, which are most certainly on the horizon, should also help increase the returns AGNC receives from the MBS it purchases. Over time, the MBS he buys will expand his NIM.

In addition, the company purchases almost exclusively agency-guaranteed securities. An agency asset is guaranteed by the federal government in the event of default. While this protection reduces the return AGNC receives on the MBS it purchases, it also allows the company to deploy leverage to increase its profits.

With AGNC Investment Corp. trading well below its book value, it could be a theft.

A person using their phone's speakerphone while walking down a city street.

Image source: Getty Images.

Mobile TeleSystems: 13.37% efficiency

The third Russian telecommunications company Mobile telesystems (NYSE:MBT).

MTS, as the company is more commonly known, has the highest return on this list at over 13%. But keep in mind that his semi-annual payment is not fixed. Rather, the company’s operating results dictate what is ultimately paid out to shareholders. Nevertheless, MTS has returned around 9% (or more) for most of the last five years.

The big buyers last quarter were Israel Englander of Millennium Management and Larry Fink’s black rock. Millennium doubled its existing position by buying nearly 1.4 million shares, while BlackRock added nearly 641,000 shares to its stake, which now stands at 21.8 million shares.

Mobile TeleSystems’ daily bread continues to be its telecommunications segment. Even though mobile saturation rates are high across Russia, MTS stands to benefit from the deployment of 5G infrastructure in major cities and the continued expansion of 4G into the vast rural areas of the country. A smartphone replacement cycle can boost MTS’ retail segment, as well as its data-driven wireless segment.

But what makes MTS so intriguing are the company’s many new verticals. It moved into banking, cloud computing, and streaming, to name a few new revenue channels. In the first nine months of 2021, these new verticals saw sales growth of 24% over the prior year period. These fast-growing verticals have the potential to increase MTS’s organic growth rate and significantly reduce churn by keeping customers within its ecosystem of products and services.

In line with the theme, Mobile TeleSystems is inexpensive at around 8 times Wall Street consensus earnings for 2022.

This article represents the opinion of the author, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a high-end advice service Motley Fool. We are heterogeneous! Challenging an investing thesis — even one of our own — helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and wealthier.

Stocks fall again, giving Wall Street another losing week | app https://hudsonberkshireexperience.com/stocks-fall-again-giving-wall-street-another-losing-week-app/ Fri, 18 Feb 2022 17:29:16 +0000 https://hudsonberkshireexperience.com/stocks-fall-again-giving-wall-street-another-losing-week-app/

Stocks capped a week of volatile trading on Wall Street with a large selloff on Friday that left the major indexes with their second consecutive weekly loss.

The selling lost some momentum in the afternoon, but intensified again in the final hour of trading. The S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average each fell 0.7%. The Nasdaq composite bore the brunt of the selloff, however, losing 1.2%.

Treasury yields fell as investors shifted money to the safety of US bonds. The 10-year Treasury yield, which affects rates on mortgages and other consumer loans, fell to 1.93% from 1.97%.

Markets have been choppy all week as investors watch the latest developments in Ukraine, where Russia has amassed troops on the border. Tensions are another concern for investors as they try to determine how the economy will react to rising inflation and impending interest rate hikes.

“Investors are facing geopolitical risks, Fed tightening and valuation spikes,” said Peter Essele, head of portfolio management for Commonwealth Financial Network. “Any time you get that kind of trifecta scenario, you’re going to see volatility.”

And then there’s the uncertainty about what might happen in Ukraine over this holiday weekend, with US markets set to close on President’s Day on Monday.

“You’re heading into a long weekend with no resolution on Russia or Ukraine, so you’ve got people just going a little sideways,” said Tom Hainlin, national investment strategist at US Bank Wealth Management. .

The S&P 500 fell 31.39 points to 4,348.87. The benchmark index is now 9.3% below its all-time high set on January 3.

The Dow fell 232.85 points to 34,079.18 and the Nasdaq fell 168.65 points to 13,548.07. Shares of smaller companies also fell, sending the Russell 2000 Index down 18.76 points, or 0.9%, to 2,009.33.

Tensions over Russia and Ukraine escalated throughout the week, throwing a snowball as markets focused more on inflation, central bank monetary policy and economic growth. The United States has issued some of its clearest and most detailed warnings yet of how a Russian invasion of Ukraine might unfold, and its Western allies have been on high alert for any attempt by the Kremlin to create a false pretext for a new war in Europe.

Russia is a major energy producer and military conflict could disrupt energy supplies and make energy prices extremely volatile.

Inflation remains a top concern for Wall Street as companies continue to grapple with supply chain issues and higher costs, prompting warnings that operations will suffer for part or all of 2022 General Electric fell 5.9% after warning that inflation pressure and supply chain issues hurt several of its businesses, including healthcare, renewable energy and aviation. He expects the problems to persist for at least the first half of the year.

Video streaming company Roku fell 22.3% after giving investors a weak revenue forecast and warning of ongoing supply chain issues.

Weakness in several large tech stocks, which carry more weight on indexes due to their size, helped drag the market down overall. Intel fell 5.3%.

Retailers and travel-related businesses also lost ground. Amazon lost 1.3% and Royal Caribbean fell 1.7%

Companies considered less risky investments, such as utilities, held up better than the rest of the market.

Investors remain focused on the Federal Reserve and its plan to hike interest rates to combat rising inflation. The final minutes of a meeting of Fed policymakers confirmed that the central bank intends to act decisively to fight inflation with higher interest rates. Wall Street is trying to look ahead to determine how more aggressive Fed monetary policy will impact markets, especially after years of more supportive ultra-low interest rate policies.

New York Federal Reserve Chairman John Williams said on Friday that the central bank should start raising interest rates next month to help contain too-high inflation. But he added that rate hikes may not have to start as strong as some have suggested.

“I personally don’t see any compelling case for taking a big step early,” Williams said following an event at New Jersey City University to discuss the economy and interest rates.

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

Asian stocks follow Wall St higher after rebound | World https://hudsonberkshireexperience.com/asian-stocks-follow-wall-st-higher-after-rebound-world/ Tue, 08 Feb 2022 15:03:28 +0000 https://hudsonberkshireexperience.com/asian-stocks-follow-wall-st-higher-after-rebound-world/

BEIJING (AP) — Asian stocks rose on Wednesday after Wall Street rebounded as investors awaited U.S. inflation data that could influence the pace of Federal Reserve interest rate hikes.

Shanghai, Tokyo, Hong Kong and Sydney grew.

Wall Street’s benchmark, the S&P 500, rose 0.8%, recovering from the previous day’s plunge.

Investors are awaiting U.S. inflation data on Thursday for signs of how quickly the Fed could withdraw historically low interest rates and other stimulus to try to cool soaring prices. Traders expect at least four rate hikes this year, starting next month.

Wall Street’s rebound “suggests an attempt by equity bulls to regain some control,” IG’s Yeap Jun Rong said in a report. “Much will depend on upcoming inflation data from the United States to allay some concerns about the tightening ahead.”

The Shanghai Composite Index rose 0.8% to 3,481.24 and the Nikkei 225 in Tokyo gained 1.1% to 27,579.87. The Hang Seng in Hong Kong was up 1.9% at 24,794.80.

Seoul’s Kospi rose 0.8% to 2,768.76 and Sydney’s S&P-ASX 200 added 1.1% to 7,268.30.

The India Sensex opened 0.7% higher at 58,208.01. The New Zealand and Southeast Asian markets grew.

On Wall Street, the S&P 500 rose to 4,521.54. The index is now about 5.7% below its January 3 peak.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 1.1% to 35,462.78. The Nasdaq composite advanced 1.3% to 14,194.45.

Shares of small companies have outperformed the broader market, a potential sign that investors are optimistic about economic growth. The Russell 2000 Small Stock Index rose 1.6% to 2,045.37.

Markets have been volatile since Fed officials said in mid-December that stimulus withdrawal plans would be accelerated to cool inflation, which is at its highest level in decades.

European central banks and others are also considering when to withdraw stimulus.

European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde said this week that any rate hikes would be gradual. Investors expect the ECB to take a more hawkish stance at its March meeting after the board said last week inflation risks were rising.

Higher interest rates can depress stock prices by dampening economic activity and making it more expensive to borrow money to finance transactions.

Economists expect Thursday’s data to show US inflation accelerating to a four-decade high of 7.3% in January.

On Tuesday, the yield on the 10-year US Treasury note, or the difference between its market price and the payment at maturity, rose to 1.96%, its highest level since the start of the pandemic, from 1 .91% on Monday.

Tech companies were a big part of the S&P 500 rally. Apple rose 1.8%.

Chipmaker Nvidia rose 1.5% after announcing it was ending plans to buy chip designer Arm from SoftBank.

Retailers and other businesses that rely on direct consumer spending have helped boost the market. Amazon rose 2.2% and Home Depot gained 1.1%.

In energy markets, benchmark U.S. crude gained 26 cents to $89.62 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract fell from $1.96 the previous session to $89.36. Brent crude, the price base for international oils, rose 25 cents to $91.03 a barrel in London. It lost $1.91 on Tuesday to $90.78.

The dollar fell to 115.48 yen from 115.54 yen on Tuesday. The euro fell from $1.1413 to $1.1427.

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

After Norwalk home sales stagnate, new listings remain scarce https://hudsonberkshireexperience.com/after-norwalk-home-sales-stagnate-new-listings-remain-scarce/ Thu, 03 Feb 2022 12:55:03 +0000 https://hudsonberkshireexperience.com/after-norwalk-home-sales-stagnate-new-listings-remain-scarce/ The calls started coming in Tuesday afternoon almost from the time William Pitt Sotheby’s International Realty listed a property in the Sasqua Hills neighborhood of Norwalk near the water, with owners asking $1.85million for the home 6,000 square feet.

“They recognized it was the perfect time to sell,” said listing agent Mary Phelps with her William Pitt Sotheby’s colleague Gabrielle Gearhart. “If you have somewhere to go, it’s a good time because there are so many buyers waiting.”

But in Norwalk and surrounding towns, listings remain sparse in early February, raising questions about where the housing market will go in 2022.

After a historic 2020 when single-family home sales skyrocketed during the initial phase of the COVID pandemic, only New Canaan continued that momentum last year with a 12% increase in sales to just over 870 transactions. , according to data compiled by Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties.

Norwalk saw five fewer single-family homes sell last year for a total of just over 980, but condo sales exploded with a 25% increase to around 560 units.

Brokers say the flattening of home sales was largely the result of buyers swooping in on top properties as soon as they hit real estate websites, leaving those who outbid them to wait for comparable properties to arrive on the market.

Agents in other parts of Connecticut say they are seeing more and more people searching for available properties that would have typically limited their search to the southwestern part of the state. They are priced, but with more people working remotely, they have more leeway in choosing where to live.

“High-end buyers go anywhere,” said Nancy Newman, an agent for Keller Williams Realty in Middletown who is familiar with the Connecticut River and coastal markets east of By Mike PignataroNew Haven. “They’re looking all over the state.”

Covering Norwalk and its five neighboring towns in an arc from Darien to Westport, single-family home sales fell 3% in 2021 to just under 3,900 transactions, according to data compiled by Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties.

The shortage of available homes continues to put pressure on prices, following a year in 2021 where Norwalk sellers fetched an average of 1.2% more than their asking prices. For a home listed at $600,000 near the city’s median price, that would add about $7,000 more to the price.

Weston ranked among the cities with the largest increase in median price, up 36% from the 2020 median of $1.1 million.

During the second half of 2021, the majority of homes in Norwalk sold for between $400,000 and $750,000, but several fetched $4 million or more. Norwalk’s best sale of the year came in November, when a Wilson Point estate, formerly owned by real estate developer Carl Kuehner III, was purchased for just over $7 million.

A handful of properties in Westport, Darien and New Canaan also sold for more than $7 million last year.

Regardless of property values, homebuyers face the prospect of having to pay more on their mortgages, with the Federal Reserve signaling that it plans a series of interest rate hikes this year in a bid to contain the ‘inflation. This might prompt some to search more aggressively in the early months of the year to get a better rate.

“It will be interesting to see how this all pans out,” Phelps said.

Alex.Soule@scni.com; 203-842-2545; @casoulman

Late buying campaign pushes stocks higher on Wall Street | app https://hudsonberkshireexperience.com/late-buying-campaign-pushes-stocks-higher-on-wall-street-app/ Tue, 01 Feb 2022 19:05:33 +0000 https://hudsonberkshireexperience.com/late-buying-campaign-pushes-stocks-higher-on-wall-street-app/

A late surge in buying sent stocks on Wall Street higher on Tuesday, adding to the market’s recent gains after its January slump.

The S&P 500 gained 0.7%, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.8% and the Nasdaq composite gained 0.7%. Almost all of the gains came in the past hour after the market spent most of the day toggling between gains and losses.

Energy companies led the gains in the S&P 500. Banks, communications stocks and industrials also helped offset weakness in other market segments.

The stock market just had its worst month since the pandemic began nearly two years ago. Investors are nervous as they try to determine how the upcoming interest rate hikes by the Federal Reserve, intended to stifle inflation, will affect the economy and corporate earnings.

As trading remains choppy, the benchmark S&P 500 is on a three-day winning streak. Investors have mostly priced in tighter Fed policy and the central bank will likely be reasonable in its pace going forward, said Jay Hatfield, CEO of Infrastructure Capital Advisors.

“The macro has been priced in and now we’re back to earnings reality, which should be constructive,” he said.

The S&P 500 rose 30.99 points to 4,546.54. The index recovered from an early 0.7% decline. It is now 5.2% lower than the record level reached on January 3.

The Dow gained 273.38 points to 35,405.24 and the Nasdaq rose 106.12 points to 14,346.

Shares of smaller companies also outperformed the broader market. The Russell 2000 Index rose 22.29 points, or 1.1%, to 2,050.74.

Energy stocks made solid gains, led by a 6.4% rise in Exxon Mobil after the company reported surprisingly good fourth-quarter earnings as oil demand continues to improve.

Banks also gained ground as bond yields rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury, which is used to set rates on mortgages and many other types of loans, rose to 1.80% from 1.77% on Monday evening. Bank of America rose 1.7% and Wells Fargo & Co. climbed 3.4%.

Tech stocks rebounded after falling for much of the day. The sector has been particularly sensitive to concerns about rising interest rates this year. Higher interest rates tend to make expensive growth stocks, like big tech companies, less attractive to investors. Hewlett Packard Enterprise grew 2.9%.

Utilities and companies that make home goods and personal products were among the declines. NRG Energy fell 3% and JM Smucker 1.5%.

UPS jumped 14.1% for the S&P 500’s biggest gain after the package delivery service reported results much better than analysts had expected. Rival FedEx rose 2.5%.

Investors are looking at the latest set of results, in part to see how inflation, the virus pandemic and other factors affect companies and their operations going forward.

The virus pandemic is still a lingering threat and each new variant could lead to a surge of cases that threatens businesses and consumer activity.

The economic recovery is threatened by a persistent rise in inflation which has increased costs for businesses and consumers. The big fear is that higher prices passed on to consumers will eventually cut spending and dampen economic growth.

The Federal Reserve is changing its monetary policy and plans to raise interest rates to fight rising inflation, which will affect stock prices. Ultra-low rates and other stimulus helped markets recover from the initial shock of the coronavirus pandemic and then underpinned stunning gains. Investors expect the Fed to start raising interest rates in March, but there is a lot of uncertainty about how far and how quickly the Fed will act throughout the year. .

Several major companies are on deck for profits this week. Facebook’s parent company, Meta Platforms, will release its results on Wednesday, while Amazon and Ford will release their results on Thursday.

Investors are also eagerly awaiting the Department of Labor’s jobs report for January, which will be released on Friday.

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The Week in Business: Higher Interest Rates Are Coming https://hudsonberkshireexperience.com/the-week-in-business-higher-interest-rates-are-coming/ Sun, 30 Jan 2022 12:00:09 +0000 https://hudsonberkshireexperience.com/the-week-in-business-higher-interest-rates-are-coming/

After nearly two years of near-zero interest rates, the Federal Reserve has signaled that it will likely raise them in March. Fed Chairman Jerome H. Powell said officials no longer believe the healing U.S. economy needed as much support, given that inflation is well above policymakers’ target and the tight labor market. By making it more expensive to borrow money to buy a house or a car, the Fed hopes that rising interest rates will dampen demand and eventually help curb inflation. The Fed’s favorite measure of inflation, the Personal Consumption Expenditure Index, was 5.8% in December, the fastest pace since 1982 and one that could be disastrous for the policy outlook of President Biden and his colleagues. fellow Democrats in November’s midterm elections.

Whether you hold traditional stocks, cryptocurrencies, or a combination of the two, it’s been a stressful week to be an investor. Stocks swung sharply as uncertainty about future interest rate hikes – how much and how fast – came alongside positive signs about the growth of the US economy last year. Bitcoin, the largest cryptocurrency, continued its dramatic fall before rising slightly, although its value remained just above what it was last summer. Bitcoin’s value is now about halfway from its November peak.

The International Monetary Fund has released new forecasts for 2022, showing slower-than-expected economic growth, mainly due to issues with the world’s two largest economies, China and the United States. Compared to the 5.9% growth recorded in 2021, the IMF predicted that global growth this year would be 4.4%, down from its previous forecast of 4.9%. The demise of President Biden’s Build Back Better legislation, coupled with reduced economic support from the Fed and ongoing supply chain issues, has contributed to lower expectations for the United States, while the Chinese economy continues to struggle with its disruptive “zero Covid” approach and a real troubled real estate sector.

The 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics begin this week as China comes under increasing scrutiny for human rights abuses, including allegations of forced labor in Uyghur communities in Xinjiang. The United States, Britain, Canada and Australia have announced they will not send government officials to Beijing as part of a diplomatic boycott of the Games. However, many of the world’s most famous brands will still be there, including Visa and Coca-Cola. Corporate reluctance to boycott the Games could soften the political blow of diplomatic boycotts.